Electoral College Math, and Why I Think Trump Will Win

As Donald Trump has caught up with Hillary Clinton in the polls, he has likewise closed the gap in the electoral college. Ipsos/Reuters says the race to 270 votes is now nearly tied. Many are focusing on Maine, which allocates its electoral college votes by Congressional district, and where one district going for Trump might change the result.

A reader who has been studying the numbers sends a link to 538 (“Democrats Should Panic … If The Polls Still Look Like This In A Week”) and adds:

I presume Trump wins Nevada. Adjusting for that, if this is accurate Trump loses 265 – 273. So he needs New Hampshire desperately to tie, and then win in the House…or NH plus Maine’s 2nd Congressional District for a bare win 270 – 268, second closest in history.

That could be right. But I think more likely, Trump will win rather easily, and win going away as he did the Republican primaries. I expect him to carry states like Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, maybe even Pennsylvania. Why? Two reasons.

The first can be explained with an old story from the world of marketing:

A company came out with a new dog food, and hired an advertising firm to promote the product. The ad agency placed commercials on television and ads in magazines; millions of dollars went into the campaign. The commercials and ads were first-rate, but still the dog food did not sell. The client called a meeting at the ad agency and demanded to know what had gone wrong.

After a moment of silence, the leader of the ad agency team explained: “The dogs don’t like it.”

Hillary Clinton can be re-launched, re-packaged, and protected by a phalanx of reporters. The liberal establishment can do its best to jam her down our throats. But we–the voters–don’t like her. And the more we see of her, the more our dislike is confirmed. She is too weak a candidate to be elected president.

Second, everyone knows that the press is trying to elect Hillary, and most Americans resent it. Every day, editors and reporters try to inflict an anti-Trump theme on the rest of us. Today’s hysteria revolves around Trump’s comments on Hillary’s hypocrisy regarding gun control:

She goes around with armed bodyguards like you have never seen before. I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm. Right? Right? I think they should disarm immediately. What do you think? Yes? Yes. Yeah. Take their guns away. She doesn’t want guns. … Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, okay? It would be very dangerous.

Trump obviously was making the point that he and countless others have made many times before: liberals like Hillary Clinton, who are protected 24/7 by armed guards, are deeply hypocritical when they try to disarm millions of Americans who don’t have taxpayer-funded protection and rely on their own firearms for self-defense. The point is a powerful one, which is why liberal reporters don’t want to acknowledge it. Instead, they absurdly pretend that Trump was hinting that Hillary should be assassinated.

This kind of thing fools no one. Millions of Americans are quietly fuming over the press’s overreach, going over the top, day after day, to defeat Donald Trump. The blowback is building, and will continue building until election day.

At one point, when I was opposing Trump during the GOP primaries, I said to the press: Stop attacking Trump! Liberal reporters often began with a valid point, but their hysterical hatred for Trump caused them to go too far, making arguments that were patently unfair and unsustainable. Therefore, the more they attacked Trump the more his support grew. The same thing is happening now: most Americans have a pretty good sense of fair play, and they know that Trump is being treated badly by the establishment–a group for whom most Americans have no great affection.

Much more could be said, and will be between now and November 8. But let’s leave it there for now. Like most observers, I have usually been wrong this year, so there is no reason why anyone should pay much attention. But, for what it is worth, I don’t think this year’s election will turn out to be a nail-biter. Nor will it be a landslide, but I do expect a relatively easy win for Donald Trump in both the popular vote and the electoral college.

Could Trump screw it up by making a horrible blunder? Of course. But I think there is a greater chance of disaster coming from the Clinton campaign.